The UK spouse visa gives authority to individuals to stay in the UK if they are married to a British or Irish citizen or someone who has settled status or leave to remain in the UK.
How Many Days Can I Stay Outside UK On Spouse Visa?
The spouse visa allows the holder to stay in the UK for 30 months and this can potentially be extended for a further 30 months.
At Halliday Reeves, we routinely secure spouse visas for our clients and we are often asked to advise them on whether they can spend time overseas once the visa is in place.
Below are some guidelines on the rules surrounding whether the holder of a spouse visa can leave the UK and how long they can be absent.
To speak to one of our expert immigration lawyers about obtaining a spouse visa, ring us on 0330 133 7777, email us at email@example.com or fill in our Contact Form for a free initial discussion..
Many UK visas require the holder to spend no more than 180 days outside of the UK in any one-year period. However, in the case of a UK spouse visa, no restrictions on leaving the country exist.
This means that it is in theory possible to spend more than 180 days outside of the UK.
You should be wary of doing this though, because a spouse visa is granted on the basis of an intention to live together with your spouse in the UK. If you spend lengthy periods away from your partner or if you are both overseas, you will not be complying with the grounds on which the visa was granted.
Why You Should Not Spend Lengthy Periods Outside Of The UK On A Spouse Visa
The spouse visa can be a route to securing leave to remain in the UK if you wish to settle in the country permanently. The immigration rules leave to remain as a partner (LTRP) state that you must intend to live together with your spouse or partner if you wish to be granted leave to remain.
If you decide to apply for leave to remain in the UK after holding a spouse visa for five years, you will need to provide evidence that since you were granted entry clearance you have lived with your spouse in the UK.
If you have not lived together with your spouse continuously, you will need to show a good reason why you have spent any period of time apart. The reason will need to be consistent with a continuing intention to live together permanently in the UK.
While you can still take a holiday or visit family overseas, the Home Office states that if either you or your spouse have spent a majority of their time abroad, then there may be reason to doubt that you really intend to live together permanently in the UK.
Each case will be looked at individually and if you are able to provide a valid reason for time spent apart, you may still have a chance of obtaining indefinite leave to remain, however this is by no means guaranteed.
Spending time apart could also affect your eligibility to obtain an extension to your spouse visa.
If you do have to spend time apart or overseas and you believe that you have a valid reason for doing so, it is vital that you keep evidence. For example, if you have been with a very sick relative, then you should make sure that you obtain records so that you can prove this.
Contact Our Expert Spouse Visa Lawyers
At Halliday Reeves we specialise solely in immigration, meaning we have an exceptional depth of understanding and expertise in this complex area of law.
We offer a free 15-minute enquiry service to discuss your needs and answer any questions you may have. If you have a spouse visa or you wish to apply for one and you want to know more about spending time overseas, we can talk through your situation with you and explain the rules as they will apply to your situation.
We have offices in Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Wakefield and Nottingham. To speak to one of our expert immigration lawyers about obtaining a spouse visa, ring us on 0330 133 7777, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our Contact Form.